Learn by Doing
Get out and learn with an externship, a two- to five-day mini-internship during an academic recess that exposes you to a career field you’re interested in. You’ll gain marketable job experience and make professional connections by working with host employers while learning more about a particular career field.
Externship activities typically include these activities:
- Shadowing one or more professionals
- Attending meetings and presentations
- Touring the department
- Conducting informational interviews
- Participating in daily operations that will provide hands-on exposure to the career field or industry
- Completing a relevant project, if the externship is long enough
Reap the Benefits
Your externship should help you better understand a particular work environment and career field, helping you clarify your career goals. Externships are all about career exploration, so you’ll have an opportunity to ask questions of industry professionals, get real-world experience, expand your network, and learn more about a specific job.
Any current undergraduate or graduate student is eligible to participate in the externship program. However, only one student may be placed at each site. This means that the program is competitive, with the most prepared candidates getting priority. We encourage you to consider multiple sites in case you’re not placed in your first choice.
Apply for the Program
All externship applications are through Handshake. Simply locate the job posting titled Externships, and submit your résumé and a cover letter.
After you apply, Career Services will reach out to arrange a screening interview and determine placement.
How are externship placements determined?
Career Services bases placement decisions on your application materials and interview. Applying for at least three externship sites increases the likelihood of your being placed.
How are applicants matched?
Career Services reviews all applications after the deadline has passed, with interviews following that review. If selected after your interview, you’ll be matched with a department host (fall break) or a company host (spring break).
We will make every effort to place all interested students in suitable externships; however, we cannot guarantee placement for all students. Since the primary purpose of the externship program is career exploration, students with less exposure to the career field who submit thought-out applications will be given placement preference.
How long is an externship?
Externships are available during academic breaks and are specifically designed so that a student can participate for a full two- to five-day experience without the conflict of classes or other work.
Do I need to be available during the entire externship period to be eligible?
Since externships are usually two to five days and take place when classes are not in session, you are expected to be available for the entire length of the program. However, we do ask that you be flexible during that time for scheduling purposes. You’re required to participate in and complete any externship you’re matched with and agree to pursue.
Can I put an externship on my résumé?
An externship is a valuable but brief learning experience and shows initiative on your part—which is a plus on your résumé.
What if I’m not selected?
Students can apply to a maximum of three externships. You are encouraged to apply for three positions, as you may not get your first choice.
What is the difference between an externship and an internship?
Externships are short-term (two to five days) and offer no pay or academic credit; internships may involve academic credit and can be paid or unpaid. Externships are an extended site visit where the sponsor puts significant time into hosting you and giving you a learning experience; internships are longer—one full summer is typical, but internships could also run from several weeks to a year. With an internship, you could be employed long enough for the employer to benefit from the training you are given.
Who pays for externship expenses?
You are expected to cover any costs for the externship program, so be sure to consider travel, meal, and lodging expenses when selecting a site.